Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In the Middle...

We picked up the keys to the house yesterday and went straight over to have a look.

On the night we first inspected it, I walked in the door and a flush of adrenalin burst into my veins at the perfection of the place. I was filled with a desperate need to get home and fill in the application forms straight away, so strong was the 'rightness' of this place.

Consequently, I really only had a rushed look through the house and had, in fact, misremembered the layout and proportions of the rooms.

So, yesterday was the first time I really took in the house and realised it's dimensions and layout realistically.

The study and bedrooms were bigger than I remembered. The lounge room was a bit smaller than I remembered - though still about twice the size of our current lounge room. I have to rejig the layout of some furniture, but it is all good. We discovered the house has ducted heating and cooling. We don't know if that system works properly because it wasn't advertised and I can't imagine why it wouldn't have been advertised as air-conditioning is much sought after in the rental market. So, it might yet turn out the cooling doesn't work (though the clock on the system was keeping perfect time, so who knows). If it works, then the house is even better than we thought.

I discovered the appliances in the kitchen - the oven and dishwasher - are Miele. Apparently, this is a good brand, I know it is an expensive brand, so hopefully that means these appliances will work beautifully.

I'm more invested in the dishwasher working beautifully, I have to admit. I have high hopes of the dishwasher helping to dissipate long standing tensions between the Grumpy Old Man and myself over dishwashing.

I loathe dishwashing, he doesn't mind it, only when he washes the dishes, he doesn't dry them or put them away, or even finish washing them and it drives me nuts, but I'm not supposed to complain because I'm getting out of washing them - even though I do wash them semi-regularly and when I wash the dishes I leave the entire kitchen spotless.

So, I'm hoping that having a dishwasher will mean the dishes will come out of the washer ready to be put away and that I don't mind doing - so long as I don't have to bloody wash them!

Today we start the process of ferrying stuff over to the house. The removalists will take the furniture on Monday, but we're moving everything else (except the GOM's books, DVDs, and CDs because he must absolutely pack them in boxes with paper as if they were the finest china).

This house is a moving bomb site.

I'm already feeling overwhelmed by the state of everything - I really do like visual order.

I keep telling myself this is the middle and it is temporary and inevitable and just something I have to get through. This time next week we'll be in the house with all our stuff. So, this is the middle and it's okay because it won't last.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Well, that was actually fun!

We have a new [rental] house!

We looked at a house last Thursday which I was happy with, though the Grumpy Old Man thought it was depressingly run down (hey, beggars can't be choosers and it was ideally located and big enough for all of us, and I'm sick of living in cramped conditions).

So, we put in an application on Friday. We still haven't heard back about that place.

We looked at some more houses on Saturday. Only one was big enough, but it was so run down it made the house we'd applied for look like a palace!

On Monday there were another couple of houses I wanted to look at. I had been lamenting to s-dad that the Grumpy Old Man and I didn't seem to be able to find a place we both liked. He had said to keep looking and the right place would come along. I wondered if we had enough time, and if - even if we could find the right place - we would have any chance of getting it with no taxable income.

We drove to the second house inspection on Monday night and parked outside. We'd just come from an inspection where several groups had walked through at the same time as us. Someone was parked outside this second house and talking on their phone, but they weren't wearing a suit so we assumed it wasn't the agent but rather another punter.

Then she got out of the car with a clipboard and we realised she was the agent and we were, so far, the only people attending the inspection.

We approached the front door and she welcomed us in. I asked if there had been much interest in the property. She said this was the first inspection and we were the first people to walk through the door. We went inside.

It was beautiful in a low-key suburban kind of way. Cream carpet throughout - and yes, I do hate carpet, but this carpet wasn't worn or stained like so many other rentals we had looked at. The first room we looked into was a bedroom, which had obviously been used as a study. There was office shelving on the wall. The second room was the master bedroom with double built in robes, and it had plenty of room for our bedroom furniture. The second room was a smaller but still decent sized bedroom. Next was the shower room, the bathroom and a separate toilet. Then another bedroom (same as the first smaller bedroom) with built ins as well. Then a laundry. The kitchen was lovely, update in the past 10 years, and had a dishwasher and a pantry cupboard. There was a large meals area as well as a dining area big enough for our huge table, and a living room about twice the size of the one we have now.

But that was not all!

We went out the back door to the balcony overlooking the back yard - it wraps around two sides of the house and there is a verandah off the dining room for outdoor eating.

Down stairs in the garden was a large bricked-in BBQ on a bricked patio, and under the ground floor there was a door leading to three rooms under the house, as well as the garage. The rooms look to have been used as a teenage retreat or granny flat (without a toilet or shower) and have real wood panelled walls and painted concrete floor.

We wanted this house SO badly!

I had a lovely chat with the agent explaining our financial situation and emphasising that we always pay rent on or before time and in full. She seemed very keen for us to apply and told us to provide her with any information we felt might help show we are reliable tenants.

Fortunately, we have a wonderful letter of recommendation from our current property manager.

On Tuesday we submitted our application and yesterday she told us it was approved!

I'm very excited!

This is the nicest house we will ever have lived in.

There will definitely be a no shoes policy, ha!

Also, a no eating or drinking on carpeted areas policy.

We've spent today arranging bond and initial rent cheques and organising for the utilities to be switched over.

We still need to find a removalist - we were not at all happy with the last bunch we used, and the one we used prior to them, who were great, have closed up shop.

I get to order a skip. I love ordering skips!

I'm trying not to think packing, let's just pretend that's not a thing.

I cannot wait to pick up the keys and go check the house out again!

That was the easiest house hunt we have ever done!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

We're moving...

Last Tuesday the brother of our landlord, a sales rep from a different real estate agency, the property manager from our real estate and the brother's wife all came to have a look-see at the house. As soon as they got in the front door, the brother tells us the building proposal for the back yard has been approved and to fund the build, the landlord needs to sell the house we're living in.

Apparently, this is something the landlord has known all along. So, when he told us we could stay on during the build, he was essentially lying.

As well as this, the approval went through with some amendments to the building plan. The landlord had not allowed for enough room around the townhouses and so the accommodate council requirements, he needs to demolish part of the house. The two laundry rooms and the toilet as well as Ari's bedroom need to go. So, even if the buyers of the house were to want to continue to lease it, there would not be enough room for our family in the house after the redevelopment.

We received official notification to vacate on Thursday and have to be out by the 3rd of July.

So, a-house-hunting we will go.

Having a car is a true blessing. On Tuesday afternoon we hopped in the car and with my trusty real estate phone app we drove by a few properties which were listed in our price range. We would never have had the time to do that if we were still reliant on public transport.

On Thursday we had a look at a place up the road and submitted an application for that property on Friday. Mother-in-law has offered to be guarantor for us, so hopefully that will help secure a place.

Our main problem at the moment is finding a place big enough. Even though there are plenty of three bedroom places and we have no problems making the boys share, we really do need a second living area so that we aren't constantly on top of one another. We have only found one place in our price range which offered a second living area - the place we have applied for. There was already another application being processed at the time we applied, so we just have to pray we are more suitable candidates.

I can't say the prospect of packing up the house thrills me. If we were moving into our own house, I think it would be easier, but just knowing we have a least one more move after this one is a little depressing.

The boys are not impressed that we have to move either. Mainly, they are upset that we will be moving north. Even Erik, for whom this would be a shorter journey to school, is dragging his bottom lip around. None of them want to move away from their friends, which is completely expected. We have reassured them that because we have a car now, it's not that big a deal, we can still arrange playdates. I think that reality hasn't fully dawned on them though after being reliant on buses all their lives (and previously missing out a bit on playdates when we lived further away from the school, because they were difficult to arrange).

I am so grateful my parents are here. They have already been so helpful sitting for the boys while we have gone to house inspections this week. Having them here also means possibly reducing the cost of moving because we only need to hire removalists for the big furniture and heavy boxes (books, cds, crockery). Everything else we can move ourselves between our people mover and their ute. Also, mum is a dab hand at decorating and if we get either of the two main contender properties, we've already started planning what improvements we'll make to create a cosy home we're happy to invite people to visit at.

I won't show you the houses we're looking at for privacy reasons, but here the house I would love to be able to rent - it is well outside our price range! If you click on the image, the listing will open in a new window for you.

Good Job!